By Desiree Holt
Jealous‑that evil little monster that eats away at your guts and gives you a sour taste in your mouth. It colors everything you see and say and do. But worse than that, it robs you of the ability to appreciate how lucky you are in so many ways.
Unless you get a grip on it.
I’ve been jealous of so many different people and things in my life. In high school I was jealous of my two best friends who got to be cheerleaders while I was relegated to being an usher at football and basketball games. I was jealous of my girl friend who got a snazzy convertible but at least was grateful she hauled the rest of us around in it with her. I was so jealous I almost missed the signals the really cute guy who played both football and basketball was sending me and might have missed the best date for my senior prom.
I was jealous of my college roommates who got bids to the sorority I wanted. Why them and not me, I asked myself. If I hadn’t shaken myself out of it I wouldn’t have accepted the bid I did get and missed out on making some wonderful lifelong friends. My sophomore year we moved into a brand new sorority house, I bonded with some smart, savvy females who I’m still friends with and enjoyed the best of college life.
As I grew older I learned to put a damper on the impulsive leap of jealousy when someone was in a place I wanted to be and started putting that energy into building an extraordinary life for myself. I would have missed the great years with my three wonderful kids—who now, at this stage in life, are my three best friends—and taking the leap to follow my heart in a number of careers—newspaper reporter, publicity agent, manager of rock bands and country rock musicians. I modeled the band in Joy Ride over my favorite client.
But I learned my most valuable lesson when I began to pursue my dreaming of writing romance fiction and getting published. Oh, sure, I was a newbie and greener than grass in the beginning but all around me I saw people getting those very lucky breaks I wanted. Why them and not me, I asked myself over and over again.
And then I began to realize jealousy can suck the life out of you. It robs you of your creativity and makes you an unpleasant person to be around. My late husband, my hero, thought I could do anything I set my mind to, and ragged at me for wasting my energy on something as unproductive as jealousy.
So I gave myself a virtual kick in the ass and channeled all the energy into my career—writing, learning my craft, learning what happens after a book is contracted (yay!), building a reader base. (And trust me, readers don’t like people who embrace the green-eyed monster.)
And then one day I suddenly realized that instead of feeling jealous or envious or any of those nasty things, I was feeling really good. I had not one but several publishers. I had built a substantial reader base. People liked my books! Let me say again—people liked my books!
I had a career! Holy crap!
And I didn’t get it by being jealous.
And, best of all, I had made some wonderful friends, like my blog pals here at OGG. Holy crap again!
So listen. I’m not preaching here, just trying to give you a push in the right direction so you don’t make all the mistakes I did. Or nearly did.
Appreciate everything in your life. Find one thing every day to be happy about. Remember that you are a unique individual and very special.
Enjoy life. Embrace the bluebird of happiness, not the green-eyed monster.
Just….get a grip!